Can I keep my car after bankruptcy? 34 Answers as of June 25, 2013

I need my car to get to work. Can I keep my car if I file for bankruptcy?

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Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
Generally, if the car isn't worth much or is worth about or less than what is owed, one can keep the vehicle after bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 9/30/2011
The Salas Firm
The Salas Firm | Ron Salas
Yes you may so long as the equity in your car is less than $5,000.00.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 9/29/2011
Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
In most cases you can keep your car.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/21/2013
Paul Stuber, Attorney at Law
Paul Stuber, Attorney at Law | Paul Stuber
If it is paid for or the net value is within the exemption you can keep the car. If you owe on the car you will have to keep paying the secured creditor.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 9/24/2011
Bankruptcy Law Center
Bankruptcy Law Center | Bill Zurinskas
Most debtors keep their vehicles in chapter 7 bankruptcy under Colorado exemption law. It depends on how much equity you have in the vehicles and whether you are current on any vehicle loans. Get a free consultation with an experienced bankrupty attorney, since more facts are needed to determine if you lose your car in bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 9/22/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    If your car is claimed exempt you can keep it. If it is financed you need to pay for it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/21/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    It is rare to lose a car. You are either making payments on it, it has little value above the debt owed OR it is fully exempt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/21/2011
    Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
    Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
    You can exempt it up to your state's allowable exemption amount .
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/21/2011
    Law Office of John C. Farrell, Jr.
    Law Office of John C. Farrell, Jr. | John C. Farrell, Jr.
    Most likely you will be able to keep your car if you keep up with the payments and you're not driving around in brand new Lexus.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 9/21/2011
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    It depends if you own the car outright, if you lease or if you finance the car. If you own it, then you are entitled to an exemption which may allow you to keep the car. However, depending on your other assets, you may qualify for a Federal exemption which allows you a substantial wildcard exemption. If you lease or finance the car, the lender will ask that you sign a Reaffirmation agreement in order to keep the car. This basically says that the terms of the loan are in effect regardless of the bankruptcy and that if you default after the bankruptcy discharge, then the lender has all of its rights to repossess the car and go after a money judgment. You should speak to a good attorney to see which you qualify for so that you may save your car during this process.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/21/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Sometimes. You haven't told us anything that lets us answer (is it owned or financed or leased, are the payments current, how much equity is in it, what state are you in?) Your lawyer will know and you need to have one to file.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr.
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr. | John F. Geraghty, Jr.
    Yes in Chapter 13.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/23/2013
    Heupel Law
    Heupel Law | Kevin Heupel
    Yes, provided that your car has less than $5,000 of equity and you continue to make your car payments.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Tucker Legal Clinic
    Tucker Legal Clinic | Samuel Tucker
    Usually you can retain your car as exempt property or by reaffirmation of the debt.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy | Dan Wilson
    Need more information. If car is paid for, you get to keep $5000 in equity. That means if your car is worth more than that you might have to pay the trustee the difference car value and $5000 exemption. If you have a loan on the car you can keep the car if you can make the payment.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    North Sound Law, PS
    North Sound Law, PS | Spencer Bergstedt
    In most instances you'll be able to keep your car. There are specific exemptions for property, like cars, that you can keep in a bankruptcy. For most people who file for bankruptcy, those exemptions are more than enough to cover the value of your property. If you still owe money on your car, you will have to agree to continue to pay the loan (or get it refinanced) in order to keep the car.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/23/2013
    Stuart Jon Bierman  Attorney at Law
    Stuart Jon Bierman Attorney at Law | Stuart Jon Bierman
    Yes. In almost all of my cases my client wants to retain his or her car and it all works out fine.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/25/2013
    Law Office of Asaph Abrams
    Law Office of Asaph Abrams | Asaph Abrams
    If it's financed, then payments need to be kept current in order to retain the vehicle. Some loan companies compel reaffirmations (re-signing of the loan during the bankruptcy), if you wish to retain the vehicle. In chapter 7, a trustee will determine if there is nonexempt equity in the vehicle, which could be a basis for its liquidation. Since most bankruptcy debtors either have low-value vehicles or heavily financed vehicles with little equity, and CA has good exemptions, then liquidation is rare. This answer (as well as our Web site) doesn't address all facts & implications of the question; it's general info, not legal advice to be relied upon; it creates no attorney-client relationship; it may be pertinent to CA only; it's independent of other answers. Hire legal counsel before acting or refraining from bankruptcy/legal action.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    Probably but it depends on if there is equity in the vehicle, how much, and what other assets you have. You might want to speak with a bankruptcy attorney to be sure.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Guardian Law Group PLLC
    Guardian Law Group PLLC | C. David Hester
    Do you owe money on it? Is there any equity in it? If you owe money and the equity is not more than the limit then you have the options to: to retain the vehicle and pay as agreed, surrender the vehicle to the lender, reaffirm the original contract, or redeem the property at current value. So you have options but everyone's needs are different.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Law Office of Harry L Styron
    Law Office of Harry L Styron | Harry L Styron
    It depends on what type of bankruptcy you file and how much equity you have in the car. If you file Chapter 13 (which you may have to do if your income is great enough) then an unqualified yes to keeping it. If you file Chapter 7 and your equity exceeds $2,975 then the bankruptcy trustee may want to sell it (but this depends on how much it exceeds this number, because the trustee is going to send it to an auctioneer and will have expenses in connection with the sale. If you retain it in a Chapter 7 and you still owe money on it you will have to reaffirm the debt, with a deadline of 45 days after the first date set for the meeting of creditors.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    The short answer is it depends. You should consult with an attorney. It will depend on your other assets and exemptions that are allowed.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Burnham & Associates
    Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
    In most cases people who file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can keep their cars and even their homes if they can remain current on any payments for those items. You should speak with a Bankruptcy Attorney to discuss your specific situation.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC | Richard James Symmes
    Yes, you can keep a car after filing for bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    That will depend on how much equity you have in the car and if you have available exemptions to cover that equity. If you do, then you should be able to keep the car.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Ariano & Reppucci
    Ariano & Reppucci | Chris Ariano
    That depends. If your car has less than $5,000 of equity and you are current on your car payments (and remain current), then you should be able to keep your car. Equity is determined by the fair market value of the car minus the loan amount.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    The Morris Law Group
    The Morris Law Group | Geoff Morris
    Yes, should be able to keep your car, but I would need more information before I could let you know for sure.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    D T Pham Associates, PLLC
    D T Pham Associates, PLLC | Duncan T Pham
    Yes, subject to reaffirmation of your auto loan, if there is one.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC | Theodore N. Stapleton
    Yes you can re-affirm the debt on your car and keep it in a bankruptcy filing.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    You are able to keep a car when you file for bankruptcy but you need to continue making payments on the car loan.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Law Office Of Magnolia Zarraga
    Law Office Of Magnolia Zarraga | Magnolia Zarraga
    You can keep your car even if you file bankruptcy. If your car is paid off, you can keep it but your attorney has to list it in the bankruptcy paperwork and exempt it. If you are behind on your car payments you can try contacting your lender and asking if they will agree to extend the term of your loan to bring you current. If they do, and you meet other criteria you might qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy and you keep your car and other assets. If you are behind on your car and your lender won’t agree to bring you current by extending the term of your loan you can file for a chapter 13 bankruptcy where you'll repay the amount you fell behind plus the balance of the loan over 3-5 years. Once you fall behind on your vehicle the lender has the right to repossess it. If it gets reposed and you file bankruptcy right away you may be able to get your car back. But why wait until that happens, contact an attorney for a free consultation so they can analyze your options for you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law
    Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law | Robert G. Uriarte
    Yes, if you can afford to make payments and keep it insured. You will most likely have to reaffirm the contract.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Cohen & Kendziorra, P.A.
    Cohen & Kendziorra, P.A. | Robert S. Cohen
    Yes, you can keep your car after bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/20/2011
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